Czechia to receive Russian vaccines ‘as soon as possible’

While Babiš has so far not been in favour of the Sputnik V vaccine skipping the European Medical Agency (EMA) process for approval – which it has not yet applied for – it appears he has now changed his mind. [Shutterstock/Yalcin Sonat]

The Czech Republic could receive Russian Sputnik V jabs “as soon as possible”, President Miloš Zeman told CNN Prima News, confirming that after consulting with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš he had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for the COVID-19 vaccines to be delivered.

While Babiš had been opposed to the Sputnik V vaccine skipping the European Medical Agency (EMA) process for approval – which it has not yet applied for – it appears he has now changed his mind.

“We cannot wait for the EMA because Russia did not apply [for approval],” Babiš told CNN Prima News, adding that six EU countries now want the Russian jab. 

According to Zeman, the Czech State Institute for Drug Control “should not be lazy” and “issue the certification [for Sputnik V] as Hungary did.”

While the president and PM are open to the Russian vaccine despite it not having been approved by the EMA, Health Minister Jan Blatný confirmed he will not authorise the Russian vaccine unless the EMA does so too. (Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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